White water is fun; Smooth water is for wimps!

Trip Start Jun 21, 2010
Trip End Jul 06, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Tuesday, June 22, 2010


We woke up very early today as we had a 2 hour Snake River smooth water raft trip followed by an 8 mile white water raft trip with the Mad River Rafting Co. The first leg of our trip started out well.  It was cool, about 40 degrees I am guessing, but the sun was out and we quickly warmed up.  The raft ride was going along fine.  We spotted many bald eagles, some white pelicans, blue herrings and other flying creatures.  Then the clouds came, the sun went away, it got colder and the rain started to sprinkle on us.  Needless to say, I was freezing and a bit miserable.   Luckily, our trip down the river was almost over at this point.

The second half of our trip was exhilarating.  We all had to don these tight wet suits.  Then they gave us a rain jacket on top of that and the life jacket.  I felt like a sausage compressed in all that garb (no flab jiggling with that stuff on), but was very grateful when I did not feel cold as 38 degree river water splashed on us.  We rafted Class 1, 2, and 3 rapids.  It was the first time either of us have ever been whitewater rafting.   I loved it!  I am grateful to our guide that we did not lose anyone overboard (especially me) and that the raft did not capsize. 

After eating supper in Jackson Hole and visiting the town square, we decided to do another quick hike.  It had to be quick as it was 6:40 pm when we started and, although daylight lasts until around 9:45 pm here, Michael and I wanted to be done with the hike by 8:30 pm.  We did a 4 mile hike around Signal Mountain.  It is considered a moderate hike with an 800 ft climb.  I don't think I am accustomed to the elevation here yet, but at least I did not feel dizzy today….progress.

There is so much we did not have time to do here.  I wish we could have spent a week here.  Tomorrow we are heading to Yellowstone.  I am not sure how the wifi situation is up there, but I will blog when I can.     


I have always enjoyed vacationing in mountainous locations, but this trip promises to surpass any such experiences.  Grand Teton National Park is beautiful and we won’t scratch the surface with our measly hikes.  There is so much to do around here that one could live here for years and not do it all.  Every turn in the highway unveils another panoramic vista that might include a postcard image of the Grand Tetons, a herd of bison, an oxbow turn of the Snake River, a picturesque lake… beautiful scenes that one could get used to seeing on a regular basis. 

Our scenic, smooth water rafting was interesting, although it would have been a lot more enjoyable if the sun wouldn’t have disappeared behind the clouds, the temperature wouldn’t have dropped, and it would not have begun to rain lightly.  I tried taking pictures from the moving boat, but I never got a good shot.  We saw quite a few bald eagles and they do have an incredible look about them on their lofty perches.  I’m hoping to get a good bald eagle shot in Yellowstone.  The whitewater rafting trip that followed the smooth water trip is certain to be one of the highlights of our whole trip.  The sun came out, although our wet suits would have worked fine in a driving rainstorm.  Several of the larger rapids threw a wall of very cold water on top of us and it really didn’t bother anyone in the raft.  One interesting note is that our smooth water guide showed us estates in the distance that were valued from $2 million to $10 million. The Jackson Hole area is not an inexpensive place to live.  I think that the homeless people here live in their Jaguars.

Our evening hike was fun, although we are looking forward to earlier hikes so that we are not racing the sun and being concerned about making it out of the woods before dark.  I also hope that my hiking boots become broken in soon as I am tired of having slightly sore toes.

Tomorrow will be interesting as we head into Yellowstone National Park.  Again, we won’t scratch the surface although we have four days to enjoy the park. 
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